Marine Life Society of South Australia Inc.


March 2006   No. 330

“understanding, enjoying & caring for our oceans”


Next Meeting

This will be the February General Meeting and will be held at the Conservation Centre, 120 Wakefield Street, Adelaide on Wednesday  15th March commencing at 7.30pm.


Our speakers will be:

FO(L) CC (Friends of (Living) Christie Creek – Rex Manson and Bon Darlington who will be speaking on:

Christie Creek is damaging Port Noarlunga Reef”.

See the last item for more details of their topic.



Some Of SA’s Long Lost Jetties - Part 2 (Steve Reynolds)  


Memberships Due


The end of this month is the end of the MLSSA financial year. Memberships will become due on the 1st April.


MLSSA Photo Index


Danny Gibbins has updated the PI on our website. It contains many new pictures. Thank you Danny for your good work.


2006 Calendar Payments/returns


If you have any calendar payments or unsold calendars could you please pay/return as soon as possible? This will enable Phill to finalise the books for this year.


Social Officer


Steve has decided to relinquish this position. Is there a volunteer to take this over until the AGM in May?



Some Of SA’s Long Lost Jetties (Part 2)


SA’s First Jetty

Picture credits: (SR) = Steve Reynolds (PG) = Peter Gower


In my article “My Continuing “Encounter” Experiences” which was published in our 2004 MLSSA Journal I wrote about the first jetty built at Reeves Point on Kangaroo Island. I said that “The jetty was finished late in August 1838”. The only thing wrong about this was that the accompanying photo* showed the Old Quarry Jetty which, as I said in Part 1 of this article, was probably built after 1850.

*The photo in question also featured in Part 1 of this article.


The Old Myponga Beach Jetty

I haven’t been to Myponga Beach for years but the last thing that I recall was that very little of the old jetty there remains. There were just a few piles and rotting beams left the last time that I was there. An episode of “Postcards” on Channel 9 on 1st May 2005 featured the old jetty. Only a few remaining piles could be seen. Myponga Beach was first settled in 1836. It became a small port to service the inland town of Myponga and a 109.8m-long jetty was built there in 1859. A ceremony was held on the jetty to celebrate its opening. Once that a road over Sellicks Hill was built, the jetty was no longer necessary for ships to service Myponga. So when was the road over Sellicks Hill built? That would date the decline of the Myponga Beach jetty which fell into disuse. Keith Conlon said on “Postcards” on 1st May that a bad storm destroyed the old jetty in 1900 (forty years after it was built). Neville Collins says that a fishing boat was blown ashore in the storm and it hit the outer end of the jetty, damaging three spans of it.

(A fatal accident marred the opening ceremony in February 1860. Some two hundred people crowded onto the jetty for the ceremony resulting in a woman and baby crashing onto the rocks. The woman (Mrs Lemon) died but the baby survived, its fall being cushioned by its mother’s body.)


Old Jetties At Wallaroo

There have been several jetties at Wallaroo on Yorke Peninsula. Two of these are shown in a photograph in “Yorke Peninsula . . . A Resident’s Views” by Allan Parsons. A temporary jetty was built there first in 1860. This is the one to the right of the present shipping jetty. A new 197.5m-long permanent jetty was then built in 1861. It was extended to a length of 244m in 1866. Work on a third jetty began in April 1880. The 488m-long jetty, which was 13.4m wide, was completed in August 1881. It was then extended another 152m to become a length of 640m between 1899 and 1901. Another 215m were added in 1914 making it a total length of 855m.

This old jetty, known as Price’s jetty, apparently had tearooms at its shore end. Sometime before 1933, a large overseas vessel sliced through the jetty, making a gap in it. The jetty was later demolished.

According to Phill McPeake’s report in our November 1981 Newsletter (No.54), Society members who dived at the site of the old Wallaroo jetty (Price’s Jetty) over the long weekend in October 1981 found “short stubs of old jetty piles and the debris left when the old jetty was demolished”. Many old bottles and artifacts were also found there.

A new 862m-long shipping jetty was built in 1926 and opened in 1927. Some of the remains from one of the old jetties were used to build the triangular ‘swimming pool’ area at the new shipping jetty in 1933. The remains used may have been a combination of material from the first temporary jetty and Price’s Jetty. A shark-proof fence was built around the swimming pool area.

Some major alterations were made to the jetty in 1958 and the length of the jetty was reduced to 867m.

The shipping jetty was damaged when the 25,000-tonne Chinese ship the Wauzhou collided with it in October 1977. The ship caused some $1m damage to the jetty. There was further damage done to the jetty in April 2000 when it was hit by the (52,000 or 64,000 tonne) Maltese registered ship the Amarantos. The 224m-long ship hit the jetty between a number of structural elements. A section of overhead loading gantry was severely damaged but damage to the jetty itself was minimal. The estimated damage bill was, however, $2.5m.)


The Old Stansbury Jetty

The present jetty at Stansbury on Yorke Peninsula is the second one there. The first one was built beside the Dalrymple Hotel in 1877. It was 305m long and was a Government owned jetty controlled by the Dalrymple District Council. It had tram tracks and was used by ketches shipping grain, cement and lime across Gulf St Vincent to Adelaide. Even though this old jetty apparently lasted until 1941, a second jetty was built there in 1905. The 308m-long jetty was located about 800m further north of the first jetty.

A photo of the opening ceremony at the jetty is featured in “Yorke Peninsula . . . A Resident’s Views” by Allan Parsons. This second jetty was also a Government owned jetty controlled by the Dalrymple District Council. The old jetty was demolished in 1941 when it was used for target practice in a training exercise for army engineers.


Old Port Clinton Jetty

A jetty built at Port Clinton on Yorke Peninsula in 1863 was later removed when the port became redundant. The old jetty had been 274m long. Stumps from it can still be seen at low tide.


Old Port Vincent Jetty

A 36.5m-long private jetty was built at the end of Main Street at Port Vincent on Yorke Peninsula in 1877. It was extended to 42.6m shortly afterwards. A large grain and goods storage shed was built at the foot of the jetty. A tramway ran from the shed out along the jetty. A 43m-long wharf was built next to the jetty in 1902 and this was extended another 46m in 1908. 24m of the jetty were then removed in 1915. Another 46m were then added to the wharf in the 1920s. The remaining 18m of the jetty were removed in 1956.


Old Broad Creek Jetty

According to the Port Adelaide Ships’ Graveyards web site

( ) a new powder magazine (for explosives) was built at Dry Creek in 1903.


Powder was at first unloaded at the North Arm of the Port River and transported from there to the new magazine by horse and dray. In 1906 a closer landing site was established at the end of Broad Creek, southeast of Barker Inlet. A 31m long jetty was built and a 1½mile tramway connected it to the new magazine. The tramway was 2½ feet wide.

By 1972 the channel to the jetty had become too shallow for small vessels. In April that year only two launches owned by Mr ME Lawrie were able to work the creek. They were restricted to working at, or near, high tide. This restriction limited their work to just two trips



Photo 12: Powder magazine at Dry Creek in 2005 (SR)

each per day. There is a photo of the Broad Creek Jetty (taken in 1997) on the web page, along with the comments that “The remains

of the old jetty and tramway are still visible in Broad Creek today”.


The Old Victoria Pier At Victor Harbor

The first part of the causeway to Granite Island at Victor Harbor was built between 1862 and 1864. It was Victor’s first jetty. A pier was built at the end of this jetty. It was named the Victoria Pier after Queen Victoria and it was opened on 4th August 1864, following the opening of the extension of the railway from Port Elliot to Victor Harbor on the same day.


The Old Victor Harbor Swimming Baths

Swimming baths were constructed on either side of the jetty (causeway) because men and women had to bathe separately. A deeper swimming area was then built between the jetty and its spur (the Victoria Pier) in 1899. A larger area had to be made for swimming by 1905. The baths had a shark-proof fence built around them. The baths, however, fell into such a bad state of disrepair that they were not being used and were eventually demolished in 1955.


The Old Granite Island Jetty

Victor Harbor’s first jetty was extended to Granite Island in 1875 (to become the causeway) and another jetty was built on the island. The new jetty (described as “a timber-piled wharf”) was called the Working Jetty or Shipping Jetty. It ran in an easterly direction in continuation of the roadway (on the island) from the end of the causeway.

Photo 13: Site of the Working Jetty on Granite Island in 2005 (SR)


In 1878 work started on the Screwpile Jetty and the nearby breakwater on the island. Both the jetty and the breakwater were finished in 1882. So what became of the Victoria Pier and the Working (or Shipping) Jetty? I have only been able to find out that one of them was demolished in 1957. This was the year that the causeway had to be rebuilt and may give a clue as to which jetty was demolished then. The Screwpile Jetty was also reconditioned that same year (1957).

Port Broughton Jetty

Several other jetties have had to undergo major repairs or replacement, including the one at Port Broughton. The first jetty to be built on the site of the present day jetty at Port Broughton was built there between 1873 and 1874. It was 384m long. By 1876, however, this jetty was in such poor shape that it had to be replaced. It seems that the new (present) 379m-long jetty was built right over the top of the old one. The new T-shaped jetty was built (completed?) in 1878. Both ends of the ‘T’ section were extended in 1890. The jetty had to be repaired in 1954 (& 1963?). Neville Collins says that the length of the jetty is now 374m and the ‘T’ head is 75m long.

When I did my first dive at the new Port Broughton jetty I found many old piles and pile stumps on the bottom under the new jetty. The following photo of the present jetty shows old piles cut just above the ground. These could either be from the old jetty or from when the present jetty was repaired in 1963. There is some signage at the present jetty giving details of Port Broughton’s history, the jetties, the area as a port and the local fishing industry. These signs feature several old jetty photos.

Photo 14: The new jetty at Port Broughton showing old piles cut just above the ground (SR)

Other Old Jetties

There are many cases of original jetties being replaced by new ones. Four jetties, for example, have been built at Normanville on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The jetty at Port Noarlunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula and the metropolitan jetties at both Glenelg and Brighton are the second ones to be built there. Some four jetties have been built at Robe in SA’s southeast.


Normanville’s Jetties

Normanville’s first jetty was built between 1853 and 1855. The 115m-long jetty was washed away during floods in 1856. The next two jetties to be built there were located south of the first one. One was built that same year (1856). A larger one was built between 1866 and1868. It was 128m long and had double tram tracks on it. In June 1889 the 30-tonne ketch Cowie was blown ashore and was wrecked close to one of the jetties at Normanville. A fourth jetty was built at Haycock Point, north of the third one. It was completed in 1923 and it was 182m long with a 55m-long ‘T’ head. It was, however, soon demolished. The third jetty remained still, but storms over the years reduced its length to just 67m.


Old Port Noarlunga Jetty

The first jetty at Port Noarlunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula was built in 1855. It was some 122m long (400 feet) at first but it was then extended to 180m (591 feet) in 1878. A tramway transported cargo from a wharf on the Onkaparinga River to the jetty where it was loaded on to ships. The tramway included a tunnel through sand dunes and a towpath on the Onkaparinga River from (Old) Noarlunga to Port Noarlunga.


The tow-path was some 5km (5m) in length. It was used to tow barges from flour mills to the tramway tunnel. Horses then pulled wagons through the tunnel and out on to the jetty. Ships would be anchored inside the reef. Small boats were used to take goods out to the waiting ships. A crane on the jetty was used to lower cargo on to the small boats. The jetty was under the care of the district council which received jetty dues. It was storm-damaged in the early 1900s, including a bad storm in 1913. It was then demolished in 1914. Neville Collins says that pile stumps can still be seen 30m south of the present jetty at low tide.

Photo 15: The Port Noarlunga sand dunes and reef behind the mouth of the Onkaparinga River (SR)

Photo 16: Are these old jetty piles close to the Port Noarlunga jetty? (SR)

The present jetty at Port Noarlunga was built between 1919 and 1921. It was 341m long and 2.4m wide. It reached the northern reef at the time but it is now a little shorter following recent storms. The jetty was badly damaged in March 1984 and much of its structure had to be either repaired or replaced. Another violent storm in 1987 washed away the last 15m of the jetty. It is apparently now 322m long.

Photo 17: The new jetty at Port Noarlunga (Photo by Peter Gower)


Old Glenelg Jetty

Glenelg’s first jetty was built between 1857 and 1859. My article “The Glenelg Jetty” in our June & July 2002 Newsletters gives more details about the jetty. It was opened by His Excellency, the Governor-in-Chief, Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell in a huge ceremony at 2pm on Monday 25th April 1859.

(Sir Richard was Governor of SA from 1855 to 1862. Many locations in SA have been named after Sir Richard, including the Sir Richard Peninsula near the mouth of the River Murray. Lady Freeling, wife of Sir Arthur Henry Freeling, assisted Sir Richard in the opening of the Glenelg jetty on 25th April 1859. Many locations in SA have been named after Sir Arthur.)

A large aquarium was built on the jetty in 1929. It would display creatures such as fish, sharks, dolphins, seals, stingrays and octopuses. The jetty was badly damaged by a huge storm in April 1948. The storm also swept part of the aquarium out to sea. Although a section of it survived the storm, it was of no use without the jetty itself and so it was later demolished.

Glenelg needed a new jetty but it was 20 years later before a new one was built. The new jetty was opened in May 1969.





Christie Creek is Damaging Port Noarlunga Reef


Rex Manson and Bon Darlington, co-chairpersons for the Friends of (Living) Christie Creek, will be discussing the problem of damage being caused to the Port Noarlunga reef by pollution from Christie Creek as guest speakers at our 15th March meeting


It is claimed that a high silt load from the creek, caused by erosion and stormwater runoff, is strangling marine life on the reef. Some of the stormwater runoff comes from the Southern Expressway. The pollution is said to be preventing access to nutrients by marine life.


John Hill, the Environment Minister (at that time), has established a task force chaired by Dr Don Hopgood to plan a program of works to address the problem of damage being caused to the reef by pollution from the creek. Work on the creek should begin early this year.

(Courtesy SDF Newssheet)



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